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Artful sunshine

Posted June. 29, 2022 07:51,   

Updated June. 29, 2022 07:51


Although the prevailing opinion is that trauma only occurs to those who have experienced the traumatic event, it is also passed down through generations. Writer Jo Kyung-ran's 'Blowfish' is a novel full of thoughts about such trauma.

The death chosen by the grandmother is at the center of the novel. Then 30-year-old made a blowfish soup, ate it and died by putting poison only in her soup. The shock felt by her husband and young son watching her die at the dinner table was beyond anyone’s imagination. The problem is that it did not end with the two of them. The daughter (the protagonist), who was later born by a young son who was there, overheard the story one day. Not only that, she was also told that her appearance and the way she acted also resembled her grandmother. It was then that she began to feel that someone was “following her around.” It is considered a symptom of schizophrenia.

At first glance, this makes no sense. It is illogical to think that even a granddaughter born later is traumatized. Illogicality is what we face in reality. It is because of such illogicality that trauma is petrifying. It doesn't matter that much to the granddaughter as to why her grandmother committed suicide. She is simply overwhelmed by the extreme way of death her grandmother chose. She almost obsessively thinks of her grandmother and contemplates committing suicide in the same way. Like her grandmother, by using blowfish.

It is the warm heart of an architect that brings her back to life. He is an architect who believes that “a common concept pursued by architecture” is a comfortable nest. He becomes her psychological nest. The man sustained pain in the past as well. His older brother also killed himself. He also suffered, but he was not overcome by it. He mentions this to the protagonist who is a sculptor, “You are an artist. You will be able to express this feeling.” These words are his advice to her to express the what is weighing down on her, trying to take over by carving out into sculptures. Trauma is, essentially, something that pushes humans into the darkness of disorder. The way out of it is to let the sun shine on the darkness that is shrouding it. And art, of course, can play the role of sunlight. Not always, though, but sometimes, it can.